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Publisher's Summary

On a fateful summer morning in 1986, two 11-year-old girls meet for the first time. By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside vacation town when her investigation leads her to interview carnival cleaner Amber Gordon.

For Kirsty and Amber, it's the first time they've seen each other since that dark day so many years ago. Now with new, vastly different lives - and unknowing families to protect - will they really be able to keep their wicked secret hidden? Gripping and fast-paced, with an ending that will stay with you long after you've listened to it, The Wicked Girls will appeal to fans of the Academy Award–nominated film Heavenly Creatures and the novels of Rosamund Lupton and Chevy Stevens.

©2012 Alex Marwood (P)2013 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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  • Tina
  • STL, MO, United States
  • 05-29-14

Really my rating is 4 1/2 stars.

Where does The Wicked Girls rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 5

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes. The main characters are complex and original. They are exciting and unpredictable. However, there are a few predictable scenes, but just enough to make the plot understandable.

Which scene was your favorite?

Most of the novels I like fall flat at the end, but I though this one had a perfect falling action and ending.

Who was the most memorable character of The Wicked Girls and why?

Leading Character: Amber, because she is one of kind, but in a believable way. Supporting Character: Jackie, because we all have known a "Jackie" in our life

Any additional comments?

I don't usually write reviews, but I wanted to take the time to review this book, because I was unsure about buying it at first.....not a well known author....not a ton of great reviews...but I was so pleasantly surprised that it was one of those books that I could not stop listening to...so I have to spread the word!

46 of 47 people found this review helpful

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  • anne
  • RICHMOND, CA, United States
  • 01-10-14

Engrossing from beginning to end

Would you listen to The Wicked Girls again? Why?

Yes. I don't like listening to audiobooks twice but theses characters were given such realistic motivations and personalities that I'm sure a second listen would reveal a few more details.

What did you like best about this story?

To me, the book was about the nuances of what makes a person good and/or evil and the characterizations illustrated those very clearly. Narrator was top notch too. Each character had their own distinct way of speaking and she went from one to the other flawlessly which could have easily gone sideways given all the different vernaculars and intonations.

Which character – as performed by Anna Bentinck – was your favorite?

Jackie [I think that was her name]. I hated this character but from the performance, I got a clear picture of who she was and who she wanted to be but wasn't. This character used a lot of slang and again is one of the characters that could have been over done but Bentnick did it with restraint.

Who was the most memorable character of The Wicked Girls and why?

Amber. She's a better woman than I'd have been.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommended. I had to pace myself and not listen to it in one sitting. I saved it for time when I had to complete a painting which requires something to keep me in my seat.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Lesley
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 08-30-13

I didn't want to like these girls...

...but somehow, I found myself rooting for them anyway.

Belle and Jade are notorious for a horrible crime they committed when they were only 11 years old. Now it's twenty years later. One is a journalist writing Sunday Supplement "in depth" pieces. The other is a cleanup crew supervisor at a local amusement park. Both have spouses as well as new names.

They've moved on--kinda. Neither has told any of the people in her life about the past, and neither wants to. But when a string of murders brings them back together, their deception may have to be revealed.

This book was definitely a page-turner. With so many lies going around, something is always on the edge of being uncovered! There's also the suspense of finding out what really happened on that horrible day twenty years before--that story is mixed in throughout the book.

But even such an exciting story can touch on a lot of different themes. Besides deception, you'll find such topics as social inequality, relationships, parenting, and passing judgment on others. Marwood deals with all these competently, without hitting us over the head.

The most amazing thing about this book, though, is that I ended up liking people I didn't want to like, and hoping they'd come out all right, no matter what they might have done. Only careful character development can do that, and this book has it.

There are some grisly scenes here, but nothing you wouldn't find in your average crime novel. The narrator is just plain excellent. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but she varied her voice for each. Two characters have changes in social class, and their accents change appropriately according to what time period the book is currently in.

Overall, a great, suspenseful listen and well worth the credit! Five stars all around.


88 of 94 people found this review helpful

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Intensely atmospheric, great suspense

Wicked Girls was a great read. I enjoyed the in-depth and insightful character development of especially the main characters. However, the author also drew me in by adding depth to other characters in the novel. There is not one extraneous character in the book; each plays an important role, not necessarily big or small, but each character sheds a little more light, woven into the plot and the protaganists more and more as the book proceeds. Each person in the novel and their interactions with our main characters serve to help the reader understand or at least see the motivations and reasons behind the girls' actions, their pasts, their present-day lives, and the story that unfolds. Also, the sense of place and atmosphere was so well done. I can picture the seaside, boardwalk, the houses, the environment, can feel the weather, see the characters' faces. Overall, I really enjoyed The Wicked Girls- of the author's three books to date on Audible, I preferred this one above all and would recommend it highly.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • melissa
  • Norwich, CT, United States
  • 06-11-14

A Fresh and Unique Story

I liked the way the story jumped back and forth between present day and the past and introduced us to a set of characters who grew deeper and more complex as their story was revealed. I didn't want to become engaged in their story given the horrific nature of their crime but I couldn't help being captivated. The ways in which the lives intertwined was simply great!The ending of the book for me was the most memorable because it brought everything full circle for me. I think the author made the right choice with the ending - it felt right to me on several levels and allowed for forgiveness where is was due. The writing really conveyed the feeling behind the foggy, coastal town and old amusement park clinging to the shores. It had a great setting that helped set the whole tone of the book. It was a different perspective and made me really think, which I always appreciate about a book.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Kerry
  • Palm Beach Gardens, FL, United States
  • 11-03-13

Poignant. Real. Unusually insightful.

Would you listen to The Wicked Girls again? Why?

Yes. A superb narrator and a fresh approach to some familiar content make this book a stand-out. I always love a British setting and I didn't feel spoon-fed here. Quite a lot was left to the listener to figure out. Authors that can trust the reader in this way have a maturity others don't seem to "get" -- James Patterson, Johnathan Kellerman et al -- this means you! The structure of the book is fairly complex, jumping back and forward, not always chronologically -- that is so hard to pull off without frustrating the listener but Marwood manages it masterfully.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Blessing, a minor character who is beautifully realized. Amber is very well written, too.

What about Anna Bentinck’s performance did you like?

She speaks beautifully; her accents are delightful and each character comes to life.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! I listened to the whole thing over one weekend. Compulsive listening!

Any additional comments?

For fans of the likes of Ruth Rendell and the Nicci French duo -- I think I can safely say you'll enjoy this one!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Haunting, memorable,wonderfully read.

Where does The Wicked Girls rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Among the top 20 for sure.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, I really broke down and cried at one point but to describe it would be a major spoiler.

Any additional comments?

The writer seems to have drawn on certain elements of the Venables/Thompson case (mainly the post-trial lives of the two perpetrators) as a template for her protagonist's lives. These two characters, who really seem to have been far less malicious than their non-fictional counterparts, clearly have had their lives destroyed by a horrible accident/mistake/moment of terrible childish poor judgement, call it what you will, and are far more sympathetic than those two real-life child sociopaths.<br/><br/>Nevertheless, redemption doesn't come easily to either of these women, and it is surprisingly easy to get caught up in their struggle to attain it, to find a space in the world where they can be accepted, and a space within themselves where they can find self acceptance and inner forgiveness for what they've done. <br/><br/>This is a very layered, multi-leveled character study that is also a great, edge of the seat suspense story, expertly told.

30 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • cristina
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 06-28-14

Riveting

A dark and painful tale of misery and lives-gone-horribly-wrong, told exquisitely by an author in full control of his audience (and narrated by the perfect voice). I loved it!

The tragic events of a day long ago when the two protagonists were 11 years old are revealed chronologically, and interspersed with what's happening in the present day, when a dreadful coincidence brings the two women together as adults. It's hard to say what's more hypnotic: the dreadful events that are unfolding, or to see the paths their two lives took as a result of that one day in their childhood. I could not tear my eyes (ears?) away. And can't wait for more novels by this author.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Provocative and Sad

Would you consider the audio edition of The Wicked Girls to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Wicked Girls?

Without giving anything away, how Chloe's murder unfolded.

What does Anna Bentinck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ms. Bentinck did a great job by lending color to the story. However, with a bit of imagination, I bet the written book is equally as good.

Any additional comments?

The story was well planned, complicated (in a good way), and while some threads of the story were almost a given (tabloid news given), the ending surprised me. I was deeply saddened by the ending, though can see how it mirrors life. I looked to see if Audible carried Marwood's second book and was disappointed they did not.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Jill
  • Locust Grove, GA, United States
  • 04-24-14

Good

This story is fiction but reads like true crime. Two preteen girls are involved in the death of a small child. The circumstances of this event are slowly revealed as the author goes between the adult lives of the girls and the past they both want to forget. There is also the mystery of the seaside strangler intertwined with the other plot line. The writing is very good. The narration is well done.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful